Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.

UNIVERSITY PRESS

Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.

UNIVERSITY PRESS

Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.

UNIVERSITY PRESS

Still waiting…

Where’s Alvira Khan? That’s what Heather Boyer wants to know. Boyer, the MacArthur Senate Speaker, has been trying for nearly two weeks to get an answer to a very simple question she posed to the student body president two weeks ago: “What’s going on with this elections stuff?”

Boyer had asked that question at the last meeting of the University Wide Council, a panel of top SG leaders. As reported in last week’s UP, Khan promised on Feb. 18 to reply by Feb. 20, after she returned from a student trip to Busch Gardens. She didn’t attend the trip or reply to Boyer’s question.

Boyer thought she’d get an answer when Khan was scheduled to speak to the MacArthur Senate on a conference call on Feb. 21. But Khan never called in, and she didn’t answer her phone when Boyer tried to reach her.

Boyer wants to know why SG is late in starting the annual campaign season – violating its own rules.

Khan hasn’t responded to messages and e-mails to contact the UP regarding these issues. The e-mails go directly to her SG funded Blackberry cell phone. Reporters couldn’t even leave a voicemail on her SG office phone because her voicemail was full.

The UP also attempted to contact Supervisor of Elections Ankit Jain, who was appointed by Khan and approved by the UWC on Jan. 14. But the door of Jain’s new office in the University Center has been locked since his appointment, the lights are out, and office furniture is still sitting in the hallway.

So what’s the status of the election now? Leslie Bates, the Dean of Student Affairs, said his goal for the week is to have a meeting with SG about the election. “I know that there’s going to be an attempt this week to fix any concerns or problems that are lingering. We, meaning the SG office and the Dean’s office, so we can make sure that everyone can be on the same page. That’s my goal for the week.” As of deadline, no meeting date has been set yet, but he did say they were working on a couple dates and times.

“She doesn’t know what’s going on. What answers can she possibly give me?” Boyer says of Khan. “We have a lot of problems in this administration, and the No. 1 problem is we don’t have a court, and this administration has done nothing to make this happen.”

The court that Boyer is referring to is the SG Student Court. Much like the Supreme Court of the United States, the student court is supposed to be a check and balance for the legislative and executive branches of SG.

So what’s the normal retribution? Well, this has never happened before so no one really knows what’s going to happen. Usually, students would petition the election commission if there was a problem with the elections. However, since the election supervisor still has not been approved by the campus senates and ratified by the chief justice, the election commission hasn’t been set up (see chart).

With no election commission, the next step would be to petition the student court. But there’s no student court either; which means that all court cases and petitions are heard by the same UWC that isn’t doing anything to resolve the current elections problems.

Junior Josh Flappan has gone to the SG office many times over the past few weeks and still has not received any information regarding elections. “Student Government is being very uncooperative. They are giving me the run around. The Elections Supervisor isn’t available,” he said.

Last week, the UP published an article titled Can We Talk? (refer to issue 22 of the UP, page 13) in which the Legislative Staff Counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union explains the difference between declaring candidacy and campaigning. “Just to say you are thinking about it [running for office] is not campaigning. It makes no sense to not be able to do this ahead of time. You’re not buying posters or buttons,” said Counsel Larry Spalding.

Although Khan couldn’t be reached for comment, some candidates did take the UP up on our offer to talk.

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